Background ppt on the Odyssey

Homer told a great story about Odysseus.
The Odyssey is
part 2 of one of the
greatest stories
ever told.
In order to REALLY
understand the Odyssey,
one must know some
background information
Homer was a blind poet and storyteller
who lived around the time of 720 B.C.
Homer is considered the inventor of the long or
extended simile. He specialized in using flashback,
cliffhangers and fully developed characters.
Aristotle called The Iliad the first great tragedy.
Long long ago, there was a mortal named Peleus. The
gods loved him so much that they decided to allow him
to marry a beautiful goddess named Thetis.
These two will have a
son named Achilles. He
becomes one of the great
heroes in Greek legend.
In fact, he plays a huge
role in the Trojan war
(The Iliad).
After these two get married, they
have a son, Achilles. In order to
protect him, Thetis dips him in the
River Styx making in invulnerable.
One little problem…
Discord was MAD
because she was not
invited to the
She plotted her
Discord threw a golden apple into
the reception. It bounced right
into the middle of all the guests.
The tag on the golden apple
“For the
Discord was happy because she
caused a huge fight. She loves it
when people disagree and fight
(that is why she wasn’t invited to
the wedding.)
Athena, Hera and
Aphrodite all claimed the
golden apple
Hera is the queen of the gods, Zeus’ wife and
protector of married women
Athena is goddess of wisdom and just
wars. She is daughter of Zeus and one of the 3
virgin goddesses
Aphrodite is goddess of love and beauty.
All three wanted the golden apple and
the title…
“The Fairest”
They decided that the only way to
settle the argument was to have a
beauty contest.
Can you imagine?
They wanted Zeus, king of
the gods, to judge the
beauty contest.
Zeus said,
“NO WAY!!!!!!!!”
How can you vote against the goddess
of love and beauty in a beauty contest?
How much trouble do you think Zeus would be
in if he voted against his own wife?
How could Zeus vote against his favorite child?
Zeus was smart. He
refused to judge the
contest. He didn’t want
any of the goddesses mad
at him.
Zeus said let Paris
do it. Paris was a
lowly shepherd who
had amazing taste in
So, there was the hotty
Paris, sitting on the side
of a hill just watching
his sheep when…
Three amazingly beautiful goddesses
appeared to Paris. He was shocked and
amazed. All he could do was drool and
Since fair-play and honesty wasn’t
common among the immortals,
Aphrodite, Athena and Hera all
bribed Paris to try and get him to
pick them as the winner of the
beauty contest.
Aphrodite offered Paris the most beautiful
woman in the world
Hera offered him power and cities.
Athena offered him glory and victory in
Paris considered
himself more of
a lover than a
As a result,
Paris awarded
Aphrodite the
winner of the
golden apple.
Paris was awarded the most
beautiful woman in the world.
Aphrodite neglected to mention that
Helen, the most beautiful woman in
the world, was already married.
Oh well, minor details for a
Paris hopped in his boat and headed off to
Sparta to get Helen.
The Greeks and the Trojans were
enemies. They were both rich citystates with mighty rulers.
Helen was married to one of the
Greek rulers. He was the king of
Sparta. Menelaus was a mighty
ruler who loved to wage war. He
was not the brightest man in the
world but he was very rich.
Menelaus was always looking for
reasons to go to war. Paris would
soon give him a great excuse for
attacking the rich city of Troy.
How did Helen end up with
When, Helen was very young and just starting
to become very beautiful, her father came up
with a plan to protect her.
There were so many men who wanted to marry
Helen that her father made each man swear an
oath to protect Helen and whomever she would
Once Menelaus was chosen as Helen’s
husband, the rest of the men of Greece were
obligated to protect the marriage.
When Paris arrived in Sparta he told
Menelaous that he was there on a
mission of peace.
Menelaous believed him and invited
Paris to stay in his home.
Soon after, Menelaous was called
away on business. He left his wife,
the most beautiful woman in the
world, alone at home with a young
good-looking stranger from a far off
land. Like I said, Menelaous was not
the brightest man alive.
Helen was an
innocent victim
who was
kidnapped by
Helen was a slut who
ran off with Paris
because he was
young, good-looking
and smarter than her
Regardless, Helen went home with Paris.
Paris lived in Troy with his family.
Speaking of Paris’ family…
There is a whole other story that needs
to be told about Paris and his homeland
Long ago, King Priam and Queen
Heckuba were happily ruling Troy.
They had a very large family and yet
another baby on the way. This would
be Queen Heckuba’s 49th child.
An old man prophesied that the child
Heckuba was carrying would be the
downfall of Troy.
You guessed it!
The baby that was going to
be the downfall of Troy was
Priam and Heckuba couldn’t kill their child
but they didn’t want to lose their beloved
Priam gave little baby Paris to one
of his servants and told him to go
up to the mountains and leave the
baby. That way, he wasn’t
technically killing his son. After
all, if the gods wanted to save the
child they could.
Guess what?
Good thing for Paris, the servant couldn’t
do it. The servant, gave the baby to a
shepherd friend. The shepherd raised
Paris as his son (which explains why Paris
was watching sheep when the 3 goddesses
appeared to him).
King Priam thought
his city was safe.
Between awarding Aphrodite the golden
apple and picking up his prize, Paris
participated in a great tournament.
When no wars were going on the
men would earn honor and glory by
competing in tournaments. (They were
like mini Olympics.)
King Priam of the great city-state of Troy
invites all the strong men to compete against
my strong and princely sons in a
Hey, what’s up
with that
country boy,
Paris, beating
my kids in all
the races?
isn’t right!
It’s all beginning to
make sense. The reason
he can win against my
sons is that he is one of
my sons.
King Priam and his wife
welcomed Paris home with
open arms. I guess they
forgot about the whole
downfall of Troy thing.
When Paris and Helen reached Troy, they were meet with
grumbles. King Priam and all of Paris’ brothers complained
that Paris had made a great big mistake by bringing Helen home
to Troy.
When Menelaus got home…
No Paris
What happened?
No Wife
No Treasure
Empty House
Menelaus got mad
He was so mad that
steam came out of
his ears.
Meneleus called all the Greeks
together who had taken the oath to
protect Helen’s marriage.
Many of the Greeks didn’t want to go to war.
But, then Meneleus reminded the men of how
much money $$$$$ and treasure could be
theirs if they conquered Troy.
Not to mention all the gorgeous women…
All the best of the best
heroes and warriors
gathered together. They
were ready for WAR.
Agamemnon and Meneleus
were the leaders of the
Before the all the Greeks could gather and leave for Troy
a tragedy happened.
One of the Greek, who was waiting to leave for
Troy, shot a pregnant bunny. This made
Artemis really really mad. She is the goddess
of the moon, hunt and protector of animals.
Artemis stopped the wind.
The men waited and waited and
waited and waited and waited
and waited and waited and
waited and waited
and waited…
She would not allow
any Greek to leave
for Troy until they
sacrificed to her.
Artemis required Agamemnon to
sacrifice one of his daughters,
Iphigenia. Unless, Agamemnon
complied, Artemis would prevent
the war by stopping the wind.
Agamemnon and Clytemnestra Clytemnestra and Helen
Menalaus and Helen
Agamemnon and Menalaus
In other words, two gorgeous sisters
married two powerful men that
happened to be brothers
Agamemnon was feeling the pressure.
All the guys were sitting around waiting
and waiting and waiting. As you can
imagine, there were some pretty grumpy
Agamemnon sent word to his wife
Send our daughter, Iphigenia,
to the Greek camp.
Achilles, the greatest warrior,
wants to marry her before he leaves
for Troy.
Clytemnestra and her daughter,
Iphigenia, were very excited. They
got all dressed up and rushed to the
Greek camp.
When she got there…
No wedding
No flowers
No happy day
Agamemnon sacrificed his
daughter to Artemis.
The Greeks sailed for
Clytemnestra cried, mourned and hated
her husband.
But that’s
The Greeks went to war.
They pillaged.
They burned towns.
They stole treasure.
They stole women (war prizes).
And this was all just on the way to Troy.
They weren’t even serious yet.
The Iliad is the story of the
last few months of the
Trojan War
Did I mention, the war lasted 10 very long years?
The Iliad is the story of the last few
months of the Trojan War.
The Odyssey is the story of Odysseus’
journey home from the war. It takes poor
Odysseus 10 years to get home.
Poor Odysseus, that is 20 long
years away from home and family.
Ithaca- Odysseus’
beloved island home
Penelope, Odysseus’
faithful wife
Did we mention that Odysseus faked insanity
trying to get out of going away to the
Trojan war?
When the Greeks arrived to pick up Odysseus to go
acting crazy
to war, he was
. In fact, he was
plowing a field and planting rocks. In order to test
his sanity, the Greeks laid Odysseus’ son in front of
the plow. When he swerved around the baby, they
knew it was a trick.
Why on earth would a macho
Greek leader want to stay
home from war?
Paradise home, beautiful young
wife and a new baby (Telemachus)
Odysseus bids farewell to his wife
Penelope and infant son
Telemachus, as his faithful dog
Argos lies nearby.
Too bad, so sad for Odysseus…
He had to say
goodbye to his wife
and son
God-like wisdom
King Priam ruled
Agamemnon and
Troy. Troy was
Meneleous (Helen’s
under attack
angry husband) were
because of Paris
the leaders of the
“stealing” Helen.
The biggest
Their biggest baddest baddest warrior
was Hector.
warrior was Achilles.
On the way to Troy the Greeks did a lot of damage. They
gathered many goodies. The Greeks had a weird tradition
that they called “war prizes.” They would capture a
town and steal its beautiful women. The women would be
handed out as war prizes to the leaders and great heroes.
Agamemnon was awarded a very beautiful girl. She
was Apollo’s priest’s daughter.
Agamemnon was a happy man. He thought his war
prize was more beautiful and that he would
love her more than his very own wife
She is already mad about the death
of her daughter. Can you imagine
how mad she would be if she heard
The priest begged
Agamemnon to release his
daughter. He even offered
many gifts.
The priest was sad and mad. He
prayed to Apollo and asked for
Apollo caused the
Greeks to get sick.
Many strong heroes
died. It was very sad for
the Greeks.
The Greeks held
a meeting and
decided to send
a messenger to
Apollo to find
out what they
could do to
make him happy
The messenger came back but won’t tell…
I know why Apollo is mad but if I
tell, I’m a dead man.
Someone here will kill me.
“I’m too scared.
Someone must promise
to protect me.”
Achilles said, “Don’t
worry little buddy. No
one here will lay a
hand on you.”
The messenger told the
Greeks that Apollo was
mad at them because of
how Agamemnon had
treated his priest.
Until things were made
right with the priest,
by returning his
daughter, the Greeks
would continue to die.
The Greeks said….
Achilles said, “Yes, you must return the
girl to her father.”
Agamemnon pouted and said, “Fine,
then I’m taking your war prize to
replace mine.”
I wouldn’t do that if I were you said Achilles. After all, I’m the
biggest baddest warrior you have. Without me you are
nothing. The Trojans would have beaten you along time ago.
“Why Agamemnon are you whining about this? You always get
the most treasure. You know, I do all the work and you get all
the glory. If you take away my war prize, I just might pack up
and go home. You’ll wish you had treated me better
when the Trojans are knocking at your door.”
Achilles cried because Agamemnon
took his woman.
He was so upset that he refused to
fight. Just like he said.
Ha ha!
Agamemnon was very
mature about the
whole thing. He said,
“Ha ha, she’s mine.
We don’t need you to
fight. We’ll be just
Yeah Agamemnon,
this will work
without Achilles
The Greeks
The Greeks started getting their butts
kicked. Without Achilles they just
weren’t that tough. Hector, the
biggest badest Trojan, started
inflicting serious pain on the Greeks
Achilles was sad to see his friends all getting hurt
and dying. He loves and lived to fight and was
seriously bummed out that he was not able to
participate and earn glory and honor through his
deeds in battle. Honor was very very important to
the Greeks.
Achilles would not fight because of the dishonor
Agamemnon caused him. He felt he had to prove a
When the Trojans pushed the
fighting back almost to the
I wish Achilles
was in the fight
Achilles was so very sad. He
walked along the beach and called
to his mommy (goddess Thetis)
He asked her what he should do. The big guy,
Zeus, owed her a favor. She found out Achilles’ fate.
Zeus said…
Achilles has two possible fates.
If he fights at Troy, then he will
earn honor and immortality. He
will be a hero and be
remembered forever.
If he does not fight at Troy, then
Achilles will live a long good
life but die and not be
Patroclous was Achilles best friend.
Patroclous begged his friend to let him
wear the scary armor of Achilles. If the
Trojans thought Achilles was back in the
battle then maybe they would back off.
“Okay Pat, you can wear my armor and kick
some Trojan butt. However, I do not want
you to push them all the way back to the city.
That would rob me of honor.” Achilles was
worried that his friend would encounter the great
Trojan hero, Hector.
Pat went out wearing Achilles’
The Trojan warriors freaked
out and ran toward the city.
Pat and the Greek army followed.
They killed many Trojans.
I’m Achilles,
Caught up in the moment, Pat chases
the Trojans to the city walls. Achilles
told him not to go that far. He
Achilles crying over Pat
Achilles is the strongest man alive. In
fact, he is the son of a goddess. He is
macho, strong, stubborn and angry about
the death of his best friend. He wants to
go kill some Trojans but he had no armor.
Pat lost the
armor to Hector.
As a prize of war
Hector kept the
very valuable armor
for himself
“Mom, I
need your
Thetis had Hephestus, the
god of iron-working, make
Achilles’ new armor. It was
awesome and fearful.
Achilles did not waste any
time at all. He went into
battle and killed tons and
tons of Trojans. The ones
who escaped, ran into the
gates of the city. All but
Historic armor
Hector was left alone to face
the furious Achilles.
Achilles, after a long battle,
killed the mighty warrior
Achilles was able to kill
Hector because he
knew where the
weakness was in his
armor. How did he
know? Remember, the
armor that Hector was
wearing used to be his!
Talk about your twisted irony.
It was ugly!!!
Achilles was so upset over the
death of his friend, Pat, that he
hooked Hector up to the back
of his chariot and dragged him
around the city.
For 10 years they fought. Sometimes
the Greeks would be winning and
sometimes the Trojans. Sometimes
the gods and goddess would get
involved and help and sometimes
they wouldn’t.
Hey guys,
I have an
Troy is a huge city with powerful walls. We
haven’t be able to break down or get inside the
walls. So, here is my idea. Let’s pack everything
up and make it look like we gave up and went
home. We’ll hide the ships just around the coast.
We will leave one guy and an “offering” to the
Our “offering” will be their
downfall. They will open the
gates to check everything
out. The guy that we leave
behind will tell them that the
big statue is an offering to the
gods and they better be nice
to it. When they take it into
the city…
Our “smarty pants”
Odysseus came up
with the idea of the
Trojan Horse. His
idea has been copied
zillions of times
Hiding in the belly of the horse was the best of
the best Greek warriors. When the Trojans
brought the horse into the city, they brought in
big trouble. The saying, “Beware of Greeks
bearing gifts” came from this story.
Thinking they had won the war, the
Trojans had a huge party. They ate, drank
and were merry.
When all the Trojans slept,
the Greeks snuck out and
opened the gates. The Greek
army was waiting. The
Nice work
Greeks killed the Trojans
and won the war.
The Greeks
divided up the
spoils and
headed for
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